Pittsburgh, March 10, 2008 — “Blowing the Whistle on Torture: Political Ethics in the Age of Terrorism” will be presented by La Roche College at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Kearns Spirituality Center on the Sisters of Divine Providence Campus, Babcock Boulevard, McCandless Township. The program features as keynote speaker former CIA interrogator John Kiriakou, who witnessed the first al-Qaeda terrorist’s interrogation session. He will talk about his experiences and about how he now believes the interrogation methods amount to torture.
One technique is waterboarding, which simulates drowning. The first high-ranking al-Qaeda member captured after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, broke in less than a minute after he was subjected to the technique, according to an interview with Kiriakou in the Dec. 11, 2007, issue of The Washington Post. The terrorist then began providing interrogators with information that led to the disruption of several planned attacks, the article went on to say.
Kiriakou, who grew up in New Castle, Pa., has been featured in the news prominently as a result of his speaking out on the subject. His remarks will be followed by a panel of experts from La Roche College:
• Professor Larry Likar, J.D., M.A., chair, Department of Justice, Law & Security, a former employee of the FBI, and a terrorism expert, will talk about legal issues and terrorism;
• Professor Aref Hassan, Ph.D., of the Political Science Department and a native of Lebanon, will talk about the Middle East and related political issues;
• Professor Ed Bobinchock, M.A., of the College’s Religious Studies/Philosophy Department, will focus on ethical issues related to interrogation techniques.
Following the speakers’ presentations, the session will be opened to the audience for questions. The program is free and open to the public.
NOTE: John Kiriakou is available for media interviews during his time at La Roche College. Please contact Pam Wigley to make arrangements. Contact information on first page.